Defendant takes plea in death of Maxton man

By Sarah Willets - [email protected]

MAXTON — A Robeson County man has pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in the 2011 death of a Maxton resident.

Ronnie Lee Lowery Jr. of Shannon was sentenced this week to a minimum of 15 years and a maximum of 18 years, nine months in prison, after he pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and conspiracy to commit robbery with a deadly weapon.

Lowery, along with two co-defendants, Calube Dial and Joshua Chavis, are accused of killing 21-year-old Terry McLauchlin on Sept. 8, 2011, at McLauchlin’s McGirt Gin Road home in Maxton.

Dial pleaded guilty in 2013 and Chavis in 2014. According to District Attorney Johnson Britt, Lowery had confessed to his role in McLauchlin’s death, agreed to testify against Dial in order to have the murder charge dropped and was released on bond.

In May 2013 Lowery was again arrested when sheriff’s deputies raided his home and found pills, marijuana and guns, officials said. The arrest violated Lowery’s plea agreement, which was contingent on him not violating the law. Lowery has been in jail since. The charges from the May 2013 raid were consolidated for judgment on Monday.

According todeputies, the murder occurred after an altercation between McLauchlin’s girlfriend and Dial’s girlfriend.

Dial was the “primary shooter” and the guns used had been taken from his father’s home, officials said.

McLauchlin allegedly dealt drugs and “it was believed he had a lot of money at the house.” When the men arrived at McLauchlin’s home, they planned to kick the door open, point their guns at him and demand money. McLauchlin heard the men on the porch and closed the door before they began shooting, officials said.

McLauchlin’s girlfriend and two small children in the home hid in the bathroom, and when they came out, found McLauchlin shot in the head and chest.

Officers then matched shell casings from the home to shell casings at the home of Dial’s father, officials said.

Dial and Chavis both pleaded guilty to second-degree murder, conspiracy to commit robbery with a deadly weapon and discharging a firearm into occupied property. Dial, of Maxton, was sentenced to a maximum of 20 years, nine months in prison. Chavis, of St. Pauls, was sentenced to a maximum of 13 years, three months in prison.

By Sarah Willets

[email protected]

Sarah Willets can be reached at 910-816-1974

Sarah Willets can be reached at 910-816-1974

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